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Mind How You Go

Mind How You Go

There is no denying these are uncertain times causing stress and anxiety to many. We are bombarded with information daily about the pandemic, there are varying reports as to whether people should go back to the workplace now or wait a while longer. Employers are having a stressful time with the responsibility for making sure workplaces will be safe to return to. Businesses in the city centres who rely on the business community are struggling because footfall has reduced dramatically.

All of this creates ‘noise’ around us, it is difficult to think clearly and make future plans when there is so much to think about. We all need to just stop for a moment and take stock but it is so difficult to allow ourselves time to do that. One way of doing so and to reap the benefits of doing just that is to practice mindfulness. Now, some of you may dismiss this as just a trendy word that has seen an increase in popularity over the last few years. Admittedly, I used to think this, if anyone mentioned meditating I would immediately say I cannot do that because my head is always too busy thinking of a million things at once. But that is the point when you get to that stage, you really do need to think about calming your mind.

Mindfulness can be practiced in all different ways and it depends on what works for you. It doesn’t necessarily mean sitting cross-legged in a circle with others and chanting, but if that does work for you, then do it, I’m not making fun of it. For others, it just means sitting quietly, and being mindful of your breathing, mindful of what you are eating, listening to the sounds around you. My favourite way of having a break during the working day would be to sit in the garden just listening to my lovely hens scratching around. Quite often, something I may have been struggling with would be resolved simply because I had given myself time to relax and to stop overloading my brain. That was my form of mindfulness.

Businesses need to be mindful that the days and months to come may well see an increase in staff absences due to mental health issues following the lockdown measures and the worry about being safe when returning to the workplace. Communication as ever is key and will assist in reducing those concerns. Mindfulness sessions can also assist with reassuring staff that any concerns are recognised and the support is there for them in taking time to come to terms with new ways of working and being able to express how they feel.

One of our clients, a college in Gloucestershire, booked a mindfulness session for their staff. It was presented via Zoom and it was a great exercise in remembering and experiencing the importance of switching off from all of the noise around us and to be aware of ourselves and our surroundings. Subjects covered included some desk yoga exercises to keep our bodies moving, being mindful about what we eat, taking the time to listen to others, and to focus on our breathing

The feedback was great and it worked really well over Zoom as cameras were turned off during the exercises so no-one would feel self-conscious and the break out rooms were welcomed as an opportunity to experience what others were feeling and to reflect on our own mindfulness.

Exercises practiced in the workshop are also easy to weave into your working day.

One lady who attended said “Our HR department has asked for general feedback on all of our staff development sessions. I have asked if we could have more sessions on mindfulness to develop this further.”

Hands On At Work provides a 6 – week Mindfulness program as a follow on from this Introduction to Mindfulness workshop and would be an asset to any health and wellbeing programme.

If you would like further information please contact Kathy Scott on 07989 367669 or email info@handsonatwork.co.uk